Saturday, March 31, 2012

Provocateurs: Great new piece to download Kimberly Kessler Ferzan

Criminal Law and Philosophy, Forthcoming

When a provocateur intentionally provokes a deadly affray, the law of self-defense holds that the provocateur may not use deadly force to defend himself. Why is this so?

Provocateurs are often seen as just one example of the problem of actio libera in causa, the causing of the conditions of one’s defense. This article rejects theories that maintain a one-size-fits-all approach to actio libera in causa, and argues that provocateurs need specific rules about why they forfeit their defensive rights. This article further claims that provocateurs need to be distinguished from their cousins, initial aggressors, as initial aggressors engage in conduct that grounds the permissibility of the defender’s behavior whereas the provocateur’s behavior does not justify the respondent’s use of force against him. In addition, this article rejects that the basis of this forfeiture can be found in the doctrines surrounding when and why mitigation for provocation is appropriate for the respondent.

Provocateurs forfeit their defensive rights for the very simple reason that they start the fight. This forfeiture occurs when they behave culpably, meaning that they subjectively appreciate that they are running the risk of causing force to be used against them and they engage in this behavior without justification or excuse. The question of when the provocateur’s behavior is justified is incredibly complex. It requires analysis of when it is that one is justified in increasing the risk of another’s wrongdoing. Any analysis of this justification must take seriously the liberty rights of the potential provocateur to engage in otherwise permissible behavior. Moreover, the determination of whether the provocateur is justified will turn on whether the later acts that he puts into motion are themselves justified. Thus, when Charles Bronson in the movie Death Wish presents himself as a victim so that muggers will attack him, the justifiability of his conduct in appearing as a vulnerable victim will turn on whether he is entitled to engage in this conduct, intending to later defend himself. This article argues that in Death Wish-type cases, the reason that the provocateur is not justified is because he becomes a vigilante, thereby usurping the role of the state and undermining rule of law values.

Ferzan, Kimberly Kessler, Provocateurs (March, 23 2012). Criminal Law and Philosophy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

Al Sharpton: Civil disobedience will escalate if Zimmerman remains free

Al Sharpton: Civil disobedience will escalate if Zimmerman remains free

We Should Accept the Supreme Court’s Invitation to Check and Balance Washington, D.C. | Online Library of Law and Liberty

We Should Accept the Supreme Court’s Invitation to Check and Balance Washington, D.C. | Online Library of Law and Liberty

Arizona HB 2549: A Crime to Use “Any Electronic or Digital Device” “And Use Any Obscene, Lewd or Profane Language” “With Intent to … Offend”?

That’s what Arizona HB 2549, which was just passed by both houses (though not yet signed by the Governor) provides, in relevant part:

It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use a telephone ANY ELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL DEVICE and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person.


Very intersteing post from Concurring opinions: Emergency Congress

Emergency Congress

Black Swan Alert

Black Swan Alert

Niger Innis Comment regarding poverty pimps and wannabee black panthers

Niger Innis (black republican commentator) on Hannity a few moments ago made the most profound statement about Jackson, Sharpton, the Panthers and all black people who are protesting and raging about the Trayvon Martin case...

He says the black people who are throwing out all the racist rhetoric and protesting "are actually devaluing the lives of their own race.."
In other words, he said, "out of all the black teens murdered, (93% percent by black adults), they only get upset if that black life is taken by a white person..
In other words, the black life only has value worth raging about if his life is taken by a white man." -NIGER INNIS

Thanks Mr. Innis.

Maxum Boats for sale - Sarasota

2006 Maxum 2700 SE for Sale - Specifications and Photos - POP Yachts

Maxum Boats for sale

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Largest lottery Jackpot in history.....

The SuperPAC Superdonors

More than two dozen people or groups have donated at least $1 million each to the new superPACs, which can raise unlimited funds to help a candidate — although without technically coordinating with that campaign. The money is largely being used to run attack ads against opponents. Here are those giving the most money, according to the Federal Election Commission.


ACA@Ct, Day 2 Surprises: Kennedy Hostile But Still Swingy? Gov’t Blew the “Tax” Argument? Sotomayor, Breakout Star?

ACA@Ct, Day 2 Surprises: Kennedy Hostile But Still Swingy? Gov’t Blew the “Tax” Argument? Sotomayor, Breakout Star?

Young GOP Star Targets Sherrod Brown in Ohio: Josh Mandel

Young GOP Star Targets Sherrod Brown in Ohio

Video: We won't forget Bill Nelson speech on Obamacare Sep 16, 2009

"I believe that we are going to be able to achieve this goal of expanding affordable health care to nearly all Americans." Bill, what planet were you on. This Bill is not FREE, its not affordable, and its definitely unconstitutional. It's the government requiring all of us to do something. Thats collectivism. You are toast in 2012. Connie Mack for Florida Senate.

Found this video from 2011: Dingy Harry Reid says private sector jobs are fine.

Harry you are so admirable! Stepping up to the podium and stating that everything is fine. Whew. I'm so glad that we have Senators like you and a Fixed, voter frauded electorate that keeps putting you in office.

Red Momentum Strategies strategic campaign and communications consulting services

Had the great opportunity to meet The President of Red Momentum Strategies today, Christopher Merola | President of Red Momentum Strategies, LLC. Red Momentum Strategies provides strategic campaign and communications consulting services to right-leaning candidates and organizations.

From public policy positions to speech writing, talking points to new media outreach, Red Momentum Strategies brings more than a decade of conservative political experience, along with a savvy public relations focus that is second-to-none.

If you are in need of a polished, effective message and/or delivery of that same message, Red Momentum Strategies is the place for you. Don’t leave your message to chance.

Move in the “Right” direction with Red Momentum Strategies.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

VIDEO: Geithner Admits That Prez Obama ‘Inherited’ Problems Created by Senator Obama



Post-it on gas Pump in NC Very Funny

Spike Lee Apologizes.

The ultra-vermin Spike Lee apologizes the McClain Family for tweeting their address incorrectly stating it was George Zimmerman's: "I Deeply Apologize To The McClain Family For Retweeting Their Address. It Was A Mistake. Please Leave The McClain's In Peace.Justice In Court."

The McClain's have retained an attorney and I can imagine a civil suit is coming. This charade has seriously gotten out of hand. So much so, The Black Panthers are putting a bounty on George Zimmerman (registered Democrat by the way) which is a felony in the State of Florida. Seriously, who do these people think they are? Where is the media when these complete morons completely screw up? Nowhere. I guess everyone feels sorry for these pathetic, wretched, scumbages.

There Will Be Mud: A brief history of negative political ads

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Opposition research is the dark art of digging up the dirt that gets turned into the mud that gets slung across the campaign trail. From demon sheep to automatons - here is a brief history of negative political ads. NBC's Willie Geist reports.

Rubio endorses Romney

Congressvermin Bobby Rush: The most pathetic thug on the hill

Are you serious?? A sitting Congressman wearing a hoodie on the house floor? What a complete disgrace and this prepuce votes on issues that may affect my life?? When I'm done with all of the oppo research in this election targeting democrats the American public will wake-up and realize what complete morons we have in congress.

Race baiter Corrine Brown has a meltdown: Video: Democrat Asked If She Would Have Cared About Trayvon Martin If He Was White, Hilarity Ensues

Top 10 Democrat Party Slogans

Update: Spike Lee tweeted out wrong address for George Zimmerman; couple moves out

Update: Spike Lee tweeted out wrong address for George Zimmerman; couple moves out

WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE FROM YOU LEFTIST IDIOTS!!!!  You can take your Spike Lee, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Farrakhan and Black Panthers and shove it all up your asses.   These vermin should face charges for this.  The Black panthers are committing felonies right in front of our eyes and nobody is saying a word.  Zimmerman has a right to due process and fair trial if indicted. These horrible, reprehensible pukes should rot in hell.

The Political Spectrum

Train Wreck for Obama's Healthcare Mandate; What Obama's Lawyers Couldn't Answer; Obamacare Going Down the Tubes?

Tuesday was a rough day for the Obama administration in oral arguments in the Supreme Court over mandated insurance.


Nobama Network - Dedicated to Unity Democrats, Republicans, Independents who want to save our country from power drunk Democrats on a spending spree

Nobama Network - Dedicated to Unity Democrats, Republicans, Independents who want to save our country from power drunk Democrats on a spending spree

Must-Read ProPublica Report on Ties Between Candidates and SuperPACs, Consultant Self Dealing

Must-Read ProPublica Report on Ties Between Candidates and SuperPACs, Consultant Self Dealing

Where's Obama's Outrage Over Murder of "My" Son?

Mmmm, you can almost taste the healing going on around the world.

As the oceans begin to recede, and Pharaoh’s army gets swallowed by the Red Sea, we should pause to thank the man who gave us this moment.

That was some good healing you gave us, Mr. Post-Racial president.


Obamacare on Trial. Bye Bye Obamacare

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gator Beefs Blog: 2012 Greater Gator Beer Festival - tickets @ Gator...

Fund set up for GOP strategist and wife injured in car accident

By Sarah Horner
Posted: 03/27/2012 12:01:00 AM CDT
March 27, 2012 9:51 PM GMT Updated: 03/27/2012 04:51:29 PM CDT

A fund has been set up for the Republican strategist and his wife who were seriously injured in a car accident earlier this month.

Jennifer Ann Soukup was driving north on Radisson Road in Blaine when her Pontiac G6 crossed the median and struck a southbound Honda Civic that was carrying Chris and Sara Tiedeman.

Soukup died from injuries.

The Tiedemans were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center were Sara Tiedeman remains in intensive care. Chris Tiedeman was recently released from the hospital and is undergoing physical therapy at a nearby rehabilitation facility, according to information on the couple's CaringBridge online journal.

Chris Tiedeman is a well-known strategist for the Republican Party of Minnesota.

Family members are collecting donations to help the Tiedemans pay for the accruing medical bills.

Donations can be made at

A report issued after the accident indicated police believed Soukup, 38, might have been intoxicated at the time of the accident.

Sarah Horner can be reached at 651-228-5539. Follow her at

Chief Justice Roberts Gives ObamaCare Bad Day

Mitt Romney Responds to Obama's Russia Comment

And they wonder why the electorate gets so upset.

Former Jackson Lee Staffer Owes Back Taxes

A former chief of staff to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D., Texas) owed at least $150,000 in back taxes to the IRS in 2009, records show.

Nat Thomas, who served as Jackson Lee’s chief of staff from May to September 2010, filed his termination financial disclosure with the House Office of Public Records in December 2011, more than a year after the formal deadline.

Story Here:

Friday, March 23, 2012

Download: Paper on Critical race theory and the Occupy movement (OWS)

Nick J. Sciullo (Georgia State University - Department of Communication) has posted Social Justice in Turbulent Times: Critical Race Theory and Occupy Wall Street (National Lawyers Guild Review, Vol. 68, 2012) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

In this brief article, I want to tackle several issues that are critically important to progressive move(ment)s in the law and in society as a whole. I am convinced that with continued articulation and a combined sense of theory and practice, the progressive community can make great strides in enriching the law and people’s experience with it. We need to move beyond litigation and engage our critical consciousness to embrace activism on all fronts. This is why I locate a positive politics of struggle in the Occupy Movements that progressives ought to embrace. At the same time, we must come to grips with the tremendous injustices perpetrated on people of color while we simultaneously critique the capitalist system that enacts a powerful system of oppression that is concomitant with the plight of racialized minorities. Social justice in turbulent times? Yes. A futurity of possibility? Absolutely.


Pop! Goes the Law School Bubble - The Atlantic

Pop! Goes the Law School Bubble - The Atlantic



New Obama Campaign poster released.

This idiot blames Congress for the Solyndra debacle. Diphole, your stimulus package gave Solyndra the money lest you forgot?

This woman has my vote

I wonder if this campaign ad will have any effect on voters.

Zimmerman-Martin questions

Zimmerman-Martin questions

20 Obvious Truths That Will Shock Liberals

John Hawkins is a professional blogger who runs Right Wing News

1) The Founding Fathers were generally religious, gun-toting small government fanatics who were so far to the Right that they'd make Ann Coulter look like Jimmy Carter.

2) The greatest evil this country has ever committed isn't slavery; it's killing more than 50 million innocent children via abortion.

3) Conservatives are much more compassionate than liberals and all you have to do to prove it is look at all the studies showing that conservatives give more of their money to charity than liberals do.

4) When the Founding Fathers were actually around, there were official state religions and the Bible was used as a textbook in schools. The so-called "wall of separation between church and state" has absolutely nothing to do with the Constitution and everything to do with liberal hostility to Christianity.

5) The biggest problem with our economy today is Barack Obama. His demonization of successful people, his driving up gas prices, his regulatory overload and threats to increase taxes have terrified businesses into hunkering down, refusing to spend money, and declining to hire new people. Replacing him would do more than any government policy to spur economic growth.

6) Not only are conservatives more patriotic than liberals, but most American liberals "love" America in about the same way that a wife-beater loves his wife.

7) Out of every 100 cries of “Racism” you hear these days, 99 are motivated by nothing other than politics.

8) Anyone paying income taxes is certainly paying his “fair share" -- and then some -- compared to the people who pay nothing.

9) You don't have a "right" to anything that other people have to pay to provide for you.

10) If we can ask people to present an ID to buy alcohol, drive a car, or get on an airplane, then asking them to present identification to vote is a no-brainer.

11) There's absolutely nothing that the government does smarter, better, or more efficiently than the private market with roughly equivalent resources.

12) The biggest problem with education in this country is liberals. They fight vouchers, oppose merit pay, refuse to get rid of terrible teachers, and bend over backwards to keep poor kids trapped in failing schools.

13) Fascism, socialism, and communism are all left-wing movements that have considerably more in common with modern liberalism than modern conservatism.

14) The Democratic Party was behind slavery, the KKK, and Jim Crow laws. It was also the party of Margaret Sanger, George Wallace, and Bull Connor. It has ALWAYS been a racist party. Even today, white liberals support Affirmative Action and racial set-asides because they still believe black Americans are too inferior to go up against whites on an even playing field.

15) A man with good morals who falls short and becomes a hypocrite is still a far better man than a liberal who can never be called a hypocrite because he has no morals at all.

16) The most dire threat to America's future and prosperity in the last 150 years hasn't been the Nazis, the Soviets, or Al-Qaeda;, it's the spending and overreach of our own government.

17) Greed isn't someone wanting to keep more of what he earns; it's people demanding a greater share of money that someone else earns.

18) Most of the time in American politics, the liberal "victim" is really a bad guy who is absolutely delighted by the opportunity to pretend to be "offended."

19) Jesus Christ was not a conservative, a liberal, or a politician. He was also not a capitalist or a socialist. Still, you can say this: Jesus drew sharp lines about what's right and wrong, he wasn't tolerant of what the Bible categorizes as sinful behavior, and there's absolutely no question that he would adamantly oppose abortion and gay marriage.

20) When you demand that other people fund your sexual escapades by buying your contraception, your sex life becomes their business.

Charlotte blogger resigns over Obama portrayal - State -

Charlotte blogger resigns over Obama portrayal - State -

Just some more liberal sensitivity.

Quote of the day

"Americans [have] the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust their people with arms."


“An Open Letter to the Citizens Against Citizens United”

“An Open Letter to the Citizens Against Citizens United”

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Martin shooting prompting review of 'stand your ground' law

Martin shooting prompting review of 'stand your ground' law

Download: Forecasting the 2012 Presidential Election With the Fiscal Model

Alfred G. Cuzan
University of West Florida

March 12, 2012

The fiscal model of presidential elections is summarized and used to forecast President Obama's share of the two-party vote in November of this year.

Download here

Download: Direct Democracy and State Fiscal Crises: The Problem of Too Much Law

From SSRN a highly recommended paper from Peter Conti-Brown
Stanford University, Rock Center for Corporate Governance


The recent scholarly and policy debate concerning state fiscal crises has appropriately focused on the question of the money states have committed to their employees, bondholders, and citizens, and the implications of economic recession for those promises to pay. In that sense, the debate is not strictly about state fiscal crises, but state debt crises, and proposals to resolve them focus on ways in which the states can restructure their debts without triggering further fiscal decline. This focus on debt is understandable. The collective debts of the several states are staggering, and frequently rely on unrealistic projections of tax and pension fund growth that, during an economic recession, may render the states unable to meet those obligations.

But what if the problem facing the American states is not simply a problem of too much debt, but the more insidious problem of too much law? That is, state debt crises might be symptomatic of a deeper crisis whereby the state fiscal policy-making process is gummed up by statutory and constitutional restrictions on the use of public resources, such that combating budgetary shortfalls - whether caused by economic recession, political gridlock, or some combination of the two - becomes increasingly unlikely.

In the states that allow them, constitutional amendments by direct democracy - whether by popular initiative or by legislature-approved referendum - can place unyielding restrictions on the state budgets which, in times of crisis, may render the state unable to meet its fiscal demands. Add this problematic dynamic to the frequently dysfunctional fiscal policy processes so often associated with these same states’ legislatures and the result can be fiscal deadlock, and potentially, fiscal crisis. In a federal system as exists in the United States, these state fiscal crises can quickly create moral hazard, as states take risks that they hope the federal government will absorb. If the federal government agrees, federal taxpayers would thus absorb the losses of state fiscal crises in a way that, if history is a guide, will distort political conversations regarding fiscal policy for a generation. These twin problems - the inherent instability of fiscal policy by constitutional amendment and the risk of moral hazard in a federalist system - are important and understudied dynamics of state fiscal crises.

This symposium essay offers a preliminary, counter-intuitive solution to these problems: use direct democracy to combat direct democracy, and thereby provide protection to federal taxpayers exposed to losses by state fiscal crises. Taking a cue from the Financial Review Board system seen in the municipal bankruptcy context, the essay proposes a state constitutional amendment by referendum or initiative that dislodges the fiscal policy-making process from the legislature and referendum-burdened state constitution. In place of these traditional fiscal policy-making regimes, the referendum would accept the authority of a federally created commission, what this essay calls the Fiscal Restoration Commission (FRC). The FRC would then recreate the state’s budgetary laws from the ground up. The release of federal funds to save a state’s fiscal affairs would be contingent on the adoption, again by referendum, of the Commission’s proposals. The result is thus a clearing of restrictive law, rather than the clearing of restrictive debt, the mechanism that characterizes most state restructuring proposals.

Download Here

“Law and the President”

“Law and the President”

This article explores the extent to which law constrains the exercise of presidential power, in both domestic and foreign affairs. Since the start of the twentieth century, the expansion of presidential power has been among the central features of American political development. Over the last decade, however, scholars across the political spectrum have argued that presidential powers have not just expanded dramatically, but that these powers are not effectively constrained by law. These scholars argue that law fails to limit presidential power not only in exceptional circumstances (times of crisis or emergency), but more generally; that unconstrained presidential power exists not just with respect to limited substantive arenas, such as foreign affairs or military matters, but across the board; and that statutes enacted by Congress, as well as the Constitution, fail to impose effective constraints.
This article takes these claims on in empirical, theoretical, and cultural terms. Empirically, claims of legally unconstrained presidential power turn out to rest on thin evidence, rarely confront conflicting evidence; the empirical case is indeterminate and perhaps impossible Posner and Vermeule see presidents as Holmesians, not Hartians. Yet even if we enter their purely consequentialist world, in which presidents follow the law not out of any normative obligation or the more specific duty to faithfully execute the laws but only when the cost-benefit metric of compliance is more favorable than that of noncompliance, powerful reasons suggest that presidents will comply with law far more often than Posner and Vermeule imply.
In the area of presidential studies, the Posner and Vermeule approach is particularly fresh. For many decades, legal scholarship on presidential power was confined to assessing how much formal legal power the President should be understood to have, as a matter of the original understanding at the time of the Constitution’s adoption or subsequent legal and political practice. In other disciplines, scholarship on the presidency was heavily personality based — organized around studies of individual presidents, or case studies of particular episodes, or narrative accounts of how various presidents had, for example, used military force. But the greater emphasis in the social sciences in recent decades on institutional analysis has recently reached presidential studies, and an emerging series of works now seeks to analyze the presidency not through individual personalities but through the more systematic tools of empirical and theoretical analysis. Posner and Vermeule’s book, in its effort to theorize systematically about the actual (rather than formal) scope of presidential power, should be seen in this light.

M. Boyd Marcus, Jr.

Bill Bolling has hired a veteran Republican strategist and chief of staff
to former Gov. Jim Gilmore as the top political guru to guide his campaign
into next year's high-profile Republican gubernatorial primary duel with
Attorney General Ken ...

Boyd Marcus is a Partner in Marcus & Allen, a full service political and public affairs consulting firm founded in 1996 with Ray Allen, Jr. The firm is based in Richmond and specializes in political strategy, voter contact communications, fundraising, and grassroots organization for Republican candidates and elected officials. Boyd is also now working with Creative Direct, one of the most effective and innovative mail firms in the country.

From 1998-2001 Boyd Marcus served as Chief of Staff to Governor James S. Gilmore III. As Chief of Staff he was the Governor’s closest advisor and lead a 10 member Cabinet which oversaw 113,000 full-time employees and a biennial budget of over $50 billion.

Prior to serving as Chief of Staff to Governor Gilmore, Boyd was the chief consultant of the Governor’s successful campaign, engineering a message-driven statewide effort, which culminated in the Governor’s 13-point victory.

Prior to forming Marcus & Allen, Boyd was President of MBM Consulting Services. He served as the lead consultant in George Allen’s successful races in 1991 for Congress and 1993 for Governor. Other clients of MBM Consulting included Congressman Tom Bliley, and numerous legislators and local government officials.

In addition to these political clients, Boyd managed grassroots projects for the Virginia Petroleum Council and other corporate clients.

Highlights of Boyd’s long political career include serving as Campaign Manager for Coleman For Governor 1989; Virginia State Coordinator for Bush For President 1988; Chief of Staff to Congressman Tom Bliley, 1981-1988; Campaign Manager of the Bliley For Congress Committee, 1980, 1982, and 1986; Adjunct Faculty, American Campaign Academy, 1985-1988; and Guest Lecturer, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 1996.

A native of Leesburg Virginia, Boyd graduated from the University of Virginia in 1974 with a degree in American Government. He lives in Henrico County with his wife, Karen. Together, they have 5 children.

Santorum Quote in 2008: "you must vote for Mitt Romney."

Obamacare: Broken Promises, broken system

With So Many Broken Promises, No Wonder Obama Will Not Acknowledge His Signature Achievement On Its Anniversary:

Sheriff Joe: 'Tons' more shocking Obama info

The 13 Alinsky Tactics or Rules of Obama??

1.Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
2.Never go outside the experience of your people.
3.Whenever possible go outside the experience of the enemy.
4.Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
5.Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.
6.A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.
7.A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
8.Keep the pressure on with different tactics, and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.
9.The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
10.The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
11.If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.
12.The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
13.Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Jeb Bush endorses Romney

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is endorsing Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination |

Last night in Illinois, Mitt Romney won his first victory without caveats.

Even in Florida, a big win, there were plenty — counties that saw increased turnout rejected him. The northern part of the state rejected him. It required an amalgamation of voters not quite typical of the base to get Romney the nod in Florida.

In Illinois, Romney won. Period. The Santorum campaign stumbled badly in Puerto Rico, gave up a lead in Illinois, and the candidate proved horribly undisciplined. Like Dug the dog in Up getting distracted by every random squirrel, Rick Santorum loses all ability to focus when social issues come up. His lack of discipline and message focus steering those issues to families as he did so beautifully in the Mesa, AZ debate has hindered him and solidified a media narrative that he is more concerned with those issues than jobs and the economy. It is not fair. It is not even accurate. But fairness and accuracy are rare commodities in American retail politics and Rick Santorum has not leveraged his strengths well.

On the other hand, Mitt Romney’s win in Illinois still highlights his struggles. Blue collar voters are not fond of him. Staunchly conservative voters are not either. Evangelical voters also are not fond of him. The voters do not feel quite comfortable with their pick. But though evangelicals and social conservatives are the base of the base of the Republican Party, they are not enough to stop Mitt Romney and a spending advantage some have estimated topped 20 to 1 against Santorum in Illinois.

This is not to say the race is over. Far from it. Rick Santorum will probably win Louisiana. Conservatives will rally to Santorum and continue protesting Romney as the nominee. But it will not be enough. Romney will do well in New England and the remaining mid-Atlantic states. He will do well out west, winning California.

He will be the nominee.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The piece of evidence that should result in the arrest of George Zimmerman.

Yes folks it's true,  you can't arrest someone because Al Sharpton shows up and demands an arrest.  We have due process in this country.  Well now probable cause is in.  Trayvon Martin was crying for help when the gunshot went off.   An arrest will be made and damn should be made. 

Witnesses in Trayvon Martin death heard cries before shot - Miami-Dade -

Grand jury to probe Trayvon Martin killing - Miami-Dade -

Grand jury to probe Trayvon Martin killing - Miami-Dade -

Family of slain border agent wants Holder to take responsibility - Washington Times

Family of slain border agent wants Holder to take responsibility - Washington Times

Rules of the Game: Bad News for Nation’s Nonprofits

By Eliza Newlin Carney

In an election that until lately has been dominated by super PACs, politically active nonprofits are the new bad guys, drawing ethics complaints, letters to the IRS and legislative action.

Read More....

What Drives Views on Government Redistribution and Anti-Capitalism: Envy or a Desire for Social Dominance?

Great article. Here's The Abstract:

In debates over the roles of law and government in promoting the equality of income or in redistributing the fruits of capitalism, widely different motives are attributed to those who favor or oppose capitalism or income redistribution. According to one view, largely accepted in the academic social psychology literature (Jost et al. 2003), opposition to income redistribution and support for capitalism reflect an orientation toward social dominance, a desire to dominate other groups. According to another view that goes back at least to the nineteenth century origins of Marxism, anti-capitalism and a support for greater legal efforts to redistribute income reflect envy for the property of others and a frustration with one’s lot in a capitalist system.

In this paper I expand and test the social dominance thesis using sixteen nationally representative General Social Surveys conducted by the National Opinion Research Center between 1980 and 2004. Because few questions of interest were asked in most years or of most respondents, the sample sizes used for analyses vary from 535 to 15,743.

I first show that respondents who express traditionally racist views (on segregation, interracial marriage, and inborn racial abilities) tend to support greater income redistribution. Traditional racists also tend to oppose free-market capitalism and its consequences, wanting the government to guarantee jobs for everyone and fix prices, wages, and profits. Next, I report a similar pattern for those who express intolerance for unpopular groups on the fifteen Stouffer tolerance questions (regarding racists, homosexuals, communists, extreme militarists, and atheists). Those who express less tolerance for unpopular groups tend to favor income redistribution and oppose capitalism.

Then I present the results of six full latent variable structural equation models. The latent variables traditional racism (Model 1: r=.27) and intolerance (Model 2: r=.31) predict the latent variable income redistribution. Similarly, the latent variables traditional racism (Model 3: r=.33) and intolerance (Model 4: r=.36) predict anti-capitalism. Controlling for education, income (log), gender, and age (Models 5 and 6), the effects of the racism and intolerance predictors on redistribution and intolerance are reduced, but remain significant. Thus the preference against income redistribution, for example, is not just the result of income or education - rather, the data are consistent with racism and intolerance continuing to play a small, but significant role in explaining the support for income redistribution and anti-capitalism. The data are broadly inconsistent with the standard belief in the social psychology literature that pro-capitalist and anti-redistributionist views are positively associated with racism.

I then explore an alternative hypothesis, showing that, compared to anti-redistributionists, strong redistributionists have about two to three times higher odds of reporting that in the prior seven days they were angry, mad at someone, outraged, sad, lonely, and had trouble shaking the blues. Similarly, anti-redistributionists had about two to four times higher odds of reporting being happy or at ease. Not only do redistributionists report more anger, but they report that their anger lasts longer. When asked about the last time they were angry, strong redistributionists were more than twice as likely as strong opponents of leveling to admit that they responded to their anger by plotting revenge. Last, both redistributionists and anti-capitalists expressed lower overall happiness, less happy marriages, and lower satisfaction with their financial situations and with their jobs or housework.

Further, in the 2002 and 2004 General Social Surveys anti-redistributionists were generally more likely to report altruistic behavior. In particular, those who opposed more government redistribution of income were much more likely to donate money to charities, religious organizations, and political candidates. The one sort of altruistic behavior that the redistributionists were more likely to engage in was giving money to a homeless person on the street.

Evidence from sixteen national representative samples from 1980 through 2004 tends to suggest that Social Dominance Orientation has been in part misconceived. In the United States, segments of the academic community seem to have reversed the relationship between pro-capitalism and income redistribution on the one hand, and racism and intolerance on the other. Those who support capitalism and oppose greater income redistribution tend to be better educated, to have higher family incomes, to be less traditionally racist, and to be less intolerant of unpopular groups. Those who oppose greater redistribution also tend to be more generous in donating to charities and more likely to engage in some other altruistic behavior. The academic assumption that anti-capitalism and opposition to income redistribution reflect an orientation toward social dominance seems unwarranted.

Download it here

Criminal Defendant Outs Anonymous Web Site Commenter — Who Turns Out to Be One of the Prosecutors

From The Volokh Conspiracy

Ars Technica reports; the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that the prosecutor is being investigated by the Justice Department for possible violations of Justice Department policies. An excerpt from Ars Technica (read the whole thing, which also includes many links):

A federal investigation involving New Orleans landfill magnate Fred Heebe took a surprising turn this week. Heebe filed a court petition (PDF) claiming a frequent commenter on local-news site was in fact Sal Parricone, one of the prosecutors assigned to his case. Heebe turned out to be right.

The commenter took regular shots at Heebe and his family, seeming to know more about the case than an average reader of the site might….

So Heebe hired a former FBI forensic linguist, James R. Fitzgerald, to analyze 598 comments made over the course of 6 months by a commenter using the handle “Henry L. Mencken1951″. Fitzgerald, who also worked on the arrest and prosecution of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, compared the comments made by “Mencken1951″ to the language in a 9-page proceeding filed by three Assistant U.S. Attorneys, including Parricone, against the CEO of Heebe’s company, River Birch Landfill. The language was strikingly similar. Given that Parricone was born in 1951, Heebe singled him out in the court petition. On Thursday afternoon, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten confirmed Perricone had used the “Henry L. Mencken1951″ handle.

UPDATE: Parricone has resigned. (Note that he’s eligible for retirement.) Thanks to commenter summerslex for the pointer.
Critics of the nomination system should offer their own alternatives

Florida's senators encouraged by DOJ's role in the Trayvon Martin case

Florida's senators encouraged by DOJ's role in the Trayvon Martin case
Confessions of an Oppo Researcher: Romney Wins Illinois, FOX News

Romney Wins Illinois, FOX News

Romney Wins Illinois Primary, Fox News Projects | Fox News via @foxnewspolitics

Obama to Jane Sturm: Hey, take a pill

Cole on Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project

David Cole (Georgetown University Law Center) has posted The First Amendment’s Borders: The Place of Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project in First Amendment Doctrine (Harvard Law & Policy Review, Vol. 6, pp. 148-177, 2012) on SSRN.

Total Tax Burden Is Rising to Highest Level in History

Illinois primary Results

Get tonight’s primary results the minute we do: text “RESULTS” to 91919 to sign up!
Oil workers protest Obama's visit...

Former Sen candidate in Fla files suit to disqualify Obama from ballot

Larry Klayman, the conservative legal activist from Miami who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 2004, has filed a lawsuit against the state over Barack Obama's eligibiliy to be on the general election ballot. Klayman wants to require Secretary of State Ken Detzner confirm the eligibility of Obama before placing his name on the ballot.

From Klayman's release: "Neither Mr. Obama, nor the Democratic Party of Florida, nor any other group has confirmed that Mr. Obama is a "natural born citizen" since his father was a British subject born in Kenya and not a citizen of the United States. Therefore, according to Klayman, Mr. Obama is ineligible for the Office of the President of the United States until the state can confirm his eligibility."

"The requirement for natural born citizenship, which is found in the U.S. Constitution, was intended to prevent foreign influences from 'influencing' an American president. These 'influences' have regrettably been witnessed by the American people during President Obama's term in office. It is clear the Founding Fathers intended to avoid such a situation, where an American president seems to frequently sympathize with and take actions benefitting foreign interests," said Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch who spent $2.9-million on his 2004 primary campaign and won 1 percent of the vote.

Gov. Scott meets with black lawyers, students demanding action in Trayvon Martin shooting

Gov. Scott meets with black lawyers, students demanding action in Trayvon Martin shooting
Confessions of an Oppo Researcher: Disappearance of Malia Obama Spring Break Stories ...

Disappearance of Malia Obama Spring Break Stories Makes it Appear Barack Obama Administration Controlling News Networks?

Disappearance of Malia Obama Spring Break Stories Makes it Appear Barack Obama Administration Controlling News Networks?

JEFF MILLER - U.S. Congress

JEFF MILLER - U.S. Congress
Pres. Obama promised to bring down healthcare costs. It didn't happen. Watch the new @RNC ad here: #GOP #tcot
"We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both." -U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis -1916 to 1939.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Campaign Tip #1

Tip #1: The Internet has changed forever the way in which we research, but the information is not always accurate. Leads developed from the Internet should be corroborated by public records or other sources.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I welcome my new daughter Shera Holland Klimson

My wife and I gave birth to Shera Holland Klimson March 13,

2012. I thought I would share her with the world.

Obama in 2008: Americans need to suck it up and pay more for energy « Hot Air

Morgen Richmond of the now-moribund Verum Serum blog found this nugget from Obama himself in May 2008, explaining that Hope and Change meant big change — in energy prices. When an attendee to this town hall asked Obama what sacrifices he would ask of Americans, Obama leaped at the chance to explain the outcome of his energy policies (via Ace):

Do Not Underestimate Joe Biden

Do Not Underestimate Joe Biden

“Jeff Clements: How Can We Defeat ‘Citizens United’?”

“Jeff Clements: How Can We Defeat ‘Citizens United’?”

New Blog for Discussing Citizens United Decision

New Blog for Discussing Citizens United Decision

letter from "Joe the Plumber"

Dear Fellow American,

Remember how the leftwing media crucified Sarah Palin in the 2008 election? Well, now they've made "Joe the Plumber" their new target.

Since winning my primary Tuesday night, the media has made it their number one mission to discredit my candidacy and annihilatemy character. I've been painted as a bigot, told I'm not qualified to serve in Congress, and lectured on live TV as if I'm a schoolboy inthe principal's office.

No, I didn't earn a degree at Harvard, I haven't worked on Wall Street, and I don't make a six-figure salary. I'm a normal American, just like you. I served my country in the military and I've worked day and night to provide for my family. If that doesn'tqualify a man to run for Congress, I don't know what does.

Washington insiders are sucking the lifeblood out of America by spending ourmoney with no consequences—what qualifies them to continue to serve? Absolutely nothing that I don't have. So stand with me and send ahard working, commonsense conservative just like you to Congress by following this link right now to make a donation of $25,$50, $100, $250 or more to my campaign.

America was founded on the idea—and our Constitution sets it in law—thatpeople would come out of their communities, represent their constituents—their fellow Americans—and then go back to home. Instead, rightnow we've got 535 career politicians who have lost touch with the reality of what is happening in America.

Thatreality is Americans need jobs.

I'm sick of the gossip, the tabloid journalism, and the "gotcha" questions theleftwing media has designed to trap us in trivial dialogues about issues that have absolutely no relevance with the matter at hand: putting Americansback to work. Go ahead and disagree with me all you want on the social issues. But when it comes to creating jobs, lowering taxes and getting rid ofthe regulations that are strangling our economy—let's have an honest conversation.

If you're ready to start that dialogue and putthe seventh grade shenanigans on the backburner, I need to know that you stand with me. Please follow this link to make a donation of $25, $50,$100, $250 or more to my campaign right away.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Samuel "Joe thePlumber" Wurzelbacher

P.S. The leftwing media has me in their crosshairs and they're determined to force me out of this race. But guesswhat—I'm not going anywhere. As a hardworking American and Air Force veteran, I'm just as qualified to serve in Congress as any of the 535people there right now. So please stand withme to send a normal, hardworking American like yourself to Congress by making a donation of $25, $50, $100, $250 or more to my campaigntoday. Thanks—Joe

Paid for by Joe for Congress2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Liberal debris of the week #1 (Fluke does have ties to the White House)

These 3 hideous, pathetic, anti-american worms: Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem win stupid idiot, Liberal debris of the week comparing Rush Limbaugh to Josef Goebbels. You stupid idiots (or sluts?) Goebbels was the propaganda minister of Nazi Germany, he was their "FCC". Limbaugh doesn't pass regulations or laws. I don't remember Limbaugh ever hindering free speech like Goebbels.

I wipe this liberal debris away.

And for your information, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly revealed that the woman, Sandra Fluke, is not exactly an ordinary law student. She is a long-time activist on feminist causes who is represented by Anita Dunn, a former adviser to President Barack Obama and White House Communications Director in 2009. She is also dating the son of “Democratic stalwart” William Mutterperl, who has made numerous donations to the Democratic Party and liberal candidates in recent years.

When are Pelosi's constituents going to wake up! C'mon seriously.

Remember this?? Anyone in Pelosi's district who votes for him...or her (excuse me) has got to be the most complete idiot.

I cannot even believe this woman gets elected every term. They have to stuff the ballot box in her district.

6 Critical Pieces of Text Needed in a Campaign Website

6 Critical Pieces of Text Needed in a Campaign Website

e.politics: online advocacy tools & tactics » Time for a Change: Facebook Timelines for Political Campaigns

e.politics: online advocacy tools & tactics » Time for a Change: Facebook Timelines for Political Campaigns

First Amendment Be Damned: Out of control TSA threatens bloggers

Called 'useless' by a former FBI terrorism expert, the TSA is out of control and has once again threatened, or 'cautioned against' journalists covering the TSA's bogus and costly security theater.
By Ms. Smith on Mon, 03/12/12 - 1:21pm.

According to TSA Out of Our Pants, $1B of TSA nude body scanners were made worthless by the blogger's video showing how to "get anything through" the TSA body scanners. This was immediately followed by the TSA threatening mainstream media not to cover the viral YouTube video.
In response to an emailed interview request, TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz "strongly cautioned" a SmarterTravel journalist from covering Jon Corbett's video story. The email said Corbett "clearly has an agenda" which "should not be aided by the mainstream media." To which Corbett wrote on TSA Out of Our Pants, "The TSA is clearly no fan of the 4th Amendment, nor of 5th Amendment due process rights, and now this blatant attempt to manipulate the free press with 'strong caution' hits at Amendment the First."

TSA's blogger Bob wrote about the viral video, calling it "a crude attempt to allegedly show how to circumvent TSA screening procedures."

It's one of the best tools available to detect metallic and non-metallic items, such as... you know... things that go BOOM. With all that said, it is one layer of our 20 layers of security (Behavior Detection, Explosives Detection Canines, Federal Air Marshals, , etc.) and is not a machine that has all the tools we need in one handy device. We've never claimed it's the end all be all. ... However, our nation's aviation system is much safer now with the deployment of 600 imaging technology units at 140 airports.

Safer? Is that because TSA officers spend their time breaking a laptop and then threatening the owner with arrest, hassling breast-feeding mothers over ice packs, or like last week by adding TSA miscellaneous prohibited items like "a fantasy knife that slays mythical creatures that don't exist." The TSA Blog likes to brag about what "dangerous items" are confiscated by the TSA at security checkpoints and reported:

Sure, it's great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the throughput is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested.... Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions, that's for the law enforcement officer to decide.

Techdirt advised "slow down TSA lynch mob" as what was revealed in the video is old news and the upgraded scanners no longer show "nude" images against a black background, but show a generic image against a white background. Regardless, "simply traveling or having private parts is not probable cause" for the TSA to think travelers have committed an offense worthy of being groped or being "ogled" in virtual strip-searches via naked body scanners.

Whether it's an old body scanner or a new one, this certainly is not the first time that the TSA has basically said the First Amendment be damned and threatened bloggers. The TSA has also threatened airlines if they tell passengers if they are on a watchlist. When Texas was planning to ban groping by TSA agents and make it illegal to touch anyone's junk, it fell through when the feds threatened to shut down Texas airports. And why? Because nine other states were seeking similar legislation to defend our Constitution.

In fact even complaining about the TSA and exercising that First Amendment right might get you flagged. At that time, Mike German, a former FBI agent turned ACLU attorney, said, "Expressing your contempt about airport procedures -- that's a First Amendment-protected right. We all have the right to express our views, and particularly in a situation where the government is demanding the ability to search you." German added, "It's circular reasoning where, you know, I'm going to ask someone to surrender their rights; if they refuse, that's evidence that I need to take their rights away from them. And it's simply inappropriate."

Sadly enough even complaining about government at all has landed some people on watchlists, such as when Mark Faulk, an Oklahoma City writer and filmmaker active in Occupy OKC was placed on the federal No Fly List.

According to another former FBI Special Agent Steve Moore, the TSA is totally useless. As previous head of the Los Angeles Joint Terrorism Task Force Al Qaeda squad, and an FBI agent for 25 years, Moore knows a thing or two about catching terrorists. Moore said the TSA is out of control. "Civil libertarians on both sides of the aisle should be appalled at an unauthorized use to which TSA is putting their screening: Identifying petty criminals--using one search method to achieve a secret goal. This is strictly forbidden in other government branches."

Additionally Moore wrote on G-man Case File:

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was formed to ensure America's freedom to travel. Instead, they have made air travel the most difficult means of mass transit in the United States, at the same time failing to make air travel any more secure.

TSA has never, (and I invite them to prove me wrong), foiled a terrorist plot or stopped an attack on an airliner. Ever. They crow about weapons found and insinuate that this means they stopped terrorism. They claim that they can't comment due to "national security" implications. In fact, if they had foiled a plot, criminal charges would have to be filed. Ever hear of terrorism charges being filed because of something found during a TSA screening? No, because it's never happened. Trust me, if TSA had ever foiled a terrorist plot, they would buy full-page ads in every newspaper in the United States to prove their importance and increase their budget.

TSA surveillance is a peep show, a police state and privacy invasion. It blows my mind that in America, any agency can claim show us your body or we'll feel you and then get by with groping people. The intimidation tactics to stifle dissent and the First Amendment also makes me wonder, did I wake up in another country or is that KGB-like in the USA? This is Sunshine Week, so please do shine rays of light on the TSA to disinfect the worthless security theater which is costing We the People a fortune. And just think, in the future, the TSA plans to track all of your daily travels to work, to the grocery store, to social events and everywhere else you go.

Is Your Political Campaign Ready For The Facebook Timeline?

Is Your Political Campaign Ready For The Facebook Timeline?

The Single Most Important Thing to Understand About Rising Gas Prices

The Single Most Important Thing to Understand About Rising Gas Prices

Obama's Strategic Planning for March madness!

How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin.
Ronald Reagan
Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.
Ronald Reagan

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Book Recommendation: Secret Weapon: How Economic Terrorism Brought Down the U.S. Stock Market and Why It can Happen Again

Book Description
Publication Date: January 16, 2012
Who’s really to blame for America’s catastrophic financial meltdown and devastating national recession? Contrary to what the “Occupy Movement” might tell you, it’s not just greedy Wall Street executives (though they certainly earned their share of scorn). It’s not just failed regulation (even though Washington has failed miserably, both Republicans and Democrats, to protect us). As one of America’s top financial professionals reveals in this shocking new book, the failures of Wall Street and Washington have opened us up to economic warfare, with our foreign enemies exploiting our lurking financial weaknesses.

In Secret Weapon, Kevin D. Freeman unveils how all the evidence—including motive, means, and opportunity—points to America’s foreign enemies as deliberately pushing our economy over the brink.
In this stunning exposé, Freeman reveals:

The evidence linking Communist China and Islamic finance to economic warfare against the United States
Why initial reports linked the 2008 stock market crash to economic terrorism—and why the Obama administration continues to look the other way
How the financial attack unfolded—and how the perpetrators tried to cover their tracks
Why you should expect another financial attack even more devastating than the last one—and how you can protect yourself from it

In Secret Weapon you’ll learn what our enemies know and what the Obama administration has chosen to ignore—that our financial system is profoundly vulnerable to financial terrorism, and that we are being targeted for further and even more destructive attacks by our enemies, who want to cripple America as the world’s leading economy. If you want to protect yourself and protect our country, then you need to read Secret Weapon to understand how we have entered a new age of warfare—an age our enemies want to make the Dark Ages of the United States.

Editorial Reviews

“Freeman explains persuasively and clearly why we may be beginning the third act of a monetary and fiscal tragedy. You don’t care about dark pools, huge Middle-Eastern sovereign wealth funds, naked short selling, and bear runs? I’m afraid you will, and rather soon.”
—R. James Woolsey, Chairman of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and former Director of Central Intelligence

“Every American needs to understand how our financial markets have been manipulated by people who want to destroy the nation and how they can do even greater damage in the future. This book is a critical read for everyone.”
—William G. Boykin, Lt. Gen. USA (ret), former Commander of U.S. Army Special Forces and founding member of Delta Force

“Kevin Freeman’s alarming proposition on economic warfare merits attention from those at the highest levels entrusted with our nation’s security. It is incumbent on the U.S. intelligence and defense community, financial regulators, and those with advanced financial acumen to assess and address this modern security vulnerability. Warfare continues to evolve. As the United States remains vigilant against emerging threats, we must appreciate newfound challenges to longstanding assumptions about how our enemies could exploit our financial markets with potentially devastating consequences for our nation.”
—Congressman Bill Posey

“Kevin Freeman has done an exceptional job working with open source financial data. This is a superb effort to expose extreme vulnerabilities to our financial system. With today’s international markets in such a fragile and volatile state, Freeman’s work deserves serious reflection. To do so would cost little. To dismiss it outright might cost us everything.”
—Thomas W. O’Connell, former Assistant Secretary of Defense (Special Operations) (2003-2007) and former member of the NASDAQ Public Board of Directors

About the Author
Kevin D. Freeman, CFA, is the founder and CEO of Freeman Global Investment Counsel. In 1990, Freeman wrote a business plan for Sir John Templeton and was hand-picked by him to help build the Templeton Private Client group, which managed nearly $2.5 billion in global markets within a decade. One of the world’s leading experts on economic warfare and financial terrorism, Freeman authored the report “Economic Warfare: Risks and Responses” for the Department of Defense in 2009 and has briefed members of Congress, U.S. senators, and past and present members of the CIA, DIA, FBI, SEC, Homeland Security, Justice Department, and state and local law enforcement. He has appeared in the international media including CNBC, Fox News, Glenn Beck, the Counter Terrorist, the Washington Times, and the UK’s Daily Mail and Times of London.

Product Details
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Regnery Publishing (January 16, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1596987944
ISBN-13: 978-1596987944
Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches

UCLA Law Review Vol. 59, Discourse

UCLA Law Review Vol. 59, Discourse

The O% Obama Doctrine: When Zero Threat is Too Great a Risk to Ignore

The 0% Doctrine: Obama Breaks New Ground When It Comes to War With Iran

by Tom Engelhardt l TomDispatch

When I was young, the Philadelphia Bulletin ran cartoon ads that usually featured a man in trouble -- dangling by his fingers, say, from an outdoor clock. There would always be people all around him, but far too engrossed in the daily paper to notice. The tagline was: “In Philadelphia, nearly everybody reads the Bulletin.”

Those ads came to mind recently when President Obama commented forcefully on war, American-style, in ways that were remarkably radical. Although he was trying to ward off a threatened Israeli preemptive air strike against Iran, his comments should have shocked Americans -- but just about nobody noticed.

I don’t mean, of course, that nobody noticed the president’s statements. Quite the contrary: they were headlined, chewed over in the press and by pundits. Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich attacked them. Fox News highlighted their restraint. (“Obama calls for containing Iran, says ‘too much loose talk of war.’”) The Huffington Post highlighted the support for Israel they represented. (“Obama Defends Policies Toward Israel, Fends Off Partisan Critiques.”) Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu pushed back against them in a potentially deadly U.S.-Israeli dance that might bring new chaos to the Middle East.

But somehow, amid all the headlines, commentary, and analysis, few seemed to notice just what had really changed in our world.

Tomgram: Engelhardt, War as the President's Private Preserve

The president had offered a new definition of “aggression” against this country and a new war doctrine to go with it. He would, he insisted, take the U.S. to war not to stop another nation from attacking us or even threatening to do so, but simply to stop it from building a nuclear weapon -- and he would act even if that country were incapable of targeting the United States. That should have been news.

Consider the most startling of his statements: just before the arrival of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington, the president gave a 45-minute Oval Office interview to the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg. A prominent pro-Israeli writer, Goldberg had produced an article in the September issue of that magazine headlined “The Point of No Return.” In it, based on interviews with "roughly 40 current and past Israeli decision makers about a military strike," he had given an Israeli air attack on Iran a 50% chance of happening by this July. From the recent interview, here are Obama’s key lines:

“I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don't bluff. I also don't, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. But I think both the Iranian and the Israeli governments recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say.”

Later, he added this chilling note: “I think it's fair to say that the last three years, I've shown myself pretty clearly willing, when I believe it is in the core national interest of the United States, to direct military actions, even when they entail enormous risks.”

The next day, in a speech meant to stop “loose talk about war” in front of a powerful pro-Israeli lobbying outfit, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the president offered an even stronger formula, worth quoting at length. Speaking of seeing the consequences of his decisions to use force “in the eyes of those I meet who’ve come back gravely wounded,” he said:

“And for this reason, as part of my solemn obligation to the American people, I will only use force when the time and circumstances demand it... We all prefer to resolve this issue diplomatically. Having said that, Iran’s leaders should have no doubt about the resolve of the United States -- just as they should not doubt Israel’s sovereign right to make its own decisions about what is required to meet its security needs. I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say. That includes all elements of American power... and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency.

“Iran’s leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And as I have made clear time and again during the course of my presidency, I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests.”

An American president couldn’t come closer to saying that, should American intelligence conclude the Iranians were building a nuclear weapon, we would attack. The next day, again addressing an AIPAC audience, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta set the president’s commitment in stone: “No greater threat exists to Israel, to the entire region, and indeed to the United States, than a nuclear-armed Iran... Military action is the last alternative if all else fails, but make no mistake: When all else fails, we will act.”

The Power of Precedents

To understand what’s truly new here, it’s necessary to back up a few years. After all, precedent is a powerful thing and these statements do have a single precedent in the atomic age (though not one the president would profess to admire): the Bush administration’s 2003 invasion of Iraq. After all, one clearly stated reason for the invasion was Saddam Hussein’s supposed nuclear program as well as one to produce biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

In a series of speeches starting in August 2002, President George W. Bush publicly accused the Iraqi dictator of having an active nuclear program. His vice president hit the news and public affairs talk show circuit with a set of similar accusations, and his secretary of state spoke of the danger of mushroom clouds rising over American cities. (“We do know that [Saddam] is actively pursuing a nuclear weapon... [W]e don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”)

At the same time, the Bush administration made an effort -- now long forgotten -- to convince Congress that the United States was in actual danger of an Iraqi WMD attack, possibly from anthrax, in the immediate future. President Bush suggested publicly that, with unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), Saddam might have the ability to spray East Coast cities with chemical or biological weapons. And Congress was given fear-inducing classified private briefings on this.

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, for example, claimed that he voted for the administration's resolution authorizing force in Iraq because "I was told not only that [Saddam had weapons of mass destruction] and that he had the means to deliver them through unmanned aerial vehicles, but that he had the capability of transporting those UAVs outside of Iraq and threatening the homeland here in America, specifically by putting them on ships off the eastern seaboard."

Driving the need to produce evidence, however fantastic or fabricated, of a possible threat to the U.S. was a radical new twist on war-making 101. In the days after 9/11, Vice President Dick Cheney proposed that even a 1% chance of an attack on the United States, especially involving weapons of mass destruction, must be dealt with as if it were a certainty. Journalist Ron Suskind dubbed it“the one percent doctrine.” It may have been the rashest formula for "preventive" or "aggressive" war offered in the modern era.

Of course, the fact that Saddam’s Iraq had no nuclear program, no biological or chemical weapons, no functioning drones, and no way of reaching the East Coast of the United States proved strike three for critics of the Bush administration. Missed was what was truly new in the invasion: not just the 1% doctrine itself, but the idea -- a first on planet Earth -- of going to war over the possibility that another country might be in possession of nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction.

Until then, such a concept hadn’t been in the strategic vocabulary. Quite the opposite: in the Cold War years, nuclear weapons were thought of as “deterrence” or, in the case of the two massively nuclear-armed superpowers of that era, “mutually assured destruction” (with its fabulously grim acronym MAD). Those weapons, that is, were considered guarantors, however counterintuitively, against an outbreak of war. Their possession was a kind of grisly assurance that your opponent wouldn’t attack you, lest you both be destroyed.

In that spirit, between the dropping of atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 and the Iraqi invasion of March 2003, seven countries -- the Soviet Union, England, France, China, Israel (though its large nuclear arsenal remains unacknowledged), India, and Pakistan -- all went nuclear without anybody suggesting that they be attacked simply for possessing such weapons. An eighth country -- white-ruled South Africa -- actually assembled six nuclear weapons, and later became the only country to de-nuclearize itself. South Korea, Taiwan, Argentina, and Brazil all had incipient nuclear programs, though none produced weapons. Japan is today considered to be at a point the Iranians have not yet reached: “breakout capacity,” or the ability to build a nuclear weapon relatively quickly if a decision to do so were made. In 2006, North Korea set off its first nuclear test and, within years, had become the ninth active nuclear power.

In other words, in 2003, the idea that the possession of nuclear weapons or simply of an "active" nuclear program that might one day produce such weapons was a casus belli represented something new. And when it became clear that Saddam had no nuclear program, no weapons of mass destruction at all, that explanation for American war-making, for what Jonathan Schell once dubbed “disarmament wars” -- so visibly fraudulent -- seemed to disappear into the dustbin of history.

War and the Presidential “I”

Until now, that is.

Whether he meant to or not, in his latest version of Iran war policy President Obama has built on the Bush precedent. His represents, however, an even more extreme version, which should perhaps be labeled the 0% Doctrine. In holding off an Israeli strike that may itself be nothing but a bluff, he has defined a future Iranian decision to build a nuclear weapon as a new form of aggression against the United States. We would, as the president explained to Jeffrey Goldberg, be committing our military power against Iran not to prevent an attack on the U.S. itself, but a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

And by the way, note that he didn’t say, “We don’t bluff.” His formulation was: “I don’t bluff.” And that “I” should not be ignored. The Bush administration promoted a cult of presidential power, of (as they called it at the time) a “unitary executive.” No one in the White House uses such a term these days, any more than they use the term “Global War on Terror,” but if both terms have disappeared, the phenomena they named have only intensified.

The Global War on Terror, with its burgeoning secret military, the elite special operations forces, and its growing drone air force, controlled in part by the CIA, should be thought of as the president’s private war. In addition, as legal scholar Jonathan Turley wrote recently, when it comes to drone assassinations (or “targeted killings” as they are now more politely known), Attorney General Eric Holder has just claimed for the president the “authority to kill any American if he unilaterally determines them to be a threat to the nation.” In doing so, added Turley, “Obama has replaced the constitutional protections afforded to citizens with a ‘trust me’ pledge.” With terror in its crosshairs, war, in other words, is increasingly becoming the president’s private preserve and strikes on the enemy, however defined, a matter of his own private judgment.

It is no longer a matter of “we,” but of a presidential “I” when it comes to unleashing attacks in what has become a global free fire zone for those drones and special ops forces. War, in other words, is increasingly lodged in the Oval Office and a commander-in-chief executive. As the Libyan intervention suggested, like the American people, Congress is, at best, an afterthought -- even though this Congress would rubber-stamp a presidential act of war against Iran without a second thought.

The irony is that the president has propounded a war-making policy of unprecedented extremity at a moment when there is no evidence that the Iranians are pursuing a bomb -- not yet at least. The “supreme leader” of their theocratic state has termed the possession of nuclear weapons “a grave sin” and U.S. national intelligence estimates have repeatedly concluded that the Iranians are not, in fact, moving to build nuclear weapons. If, however -- and it’s a giant if -- Iran actually got the bomb, if a 10th country joined the nuclear club (with others to follow), it would be bad news, and the world would be a worse place for it, but not necessarily that greatly changed.

What could change the world in a radical way, however, is the 0% doctrine -- and the trend more generally to make war the personal prerogative of an American president, while ceding to the U.S. military what was once the province and power of diplomacy.

Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s as well as The End of Victory Culture, runs the Nation Institute's His latest book, The United States of Fear (Haymarket Books), has just been published.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch and join us on Facebook.

Copyright 2012 Tom Engelhardt


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